I just hunt rabbits and haven't field trialed before. I know when I might have a dog that is either too fast or too slow but how do you come up with a number for their speed rating 5,6,7,8,....ect?:headscratch:
I see what you are talking about. Sort of depends on the speed of the pack they are trying to run with. Maybe like slow would be a walky talky, fast being top speed and the rest some where in the middle. One mans' fast might be another mans' medium? But other than that there is no finite way to guage a definate number to the dog.
An old beagle man once told me that he judges a dog's speed by these comparisons: 1 = a very old man walking at a slow pace. 10 = a teenage boy in great shape running all out. Also, judge the dogs speed of it running solo. Some dogs appear fast in a pack but they are sometimes just very competitive and in reality are not that fast. This is what sometimes causes dog checks and lost rabbits. When rating a hound's speed using numbers we probably should also rate thier competiveness by numbers using this scale. 1 = Always stays in the back of pack and never raises head. 10 = Always runs past the front dog when coming out of a check or pick-up. Hope this helps someone but the best way to judge a dog is always to watch and follow.
I Would think a better way to determine speed would by feet or minutes, If the rabbit crosses the road , the example could be (Feet method)10 feet behind rabbit could be called a 8-10 or rabbit crosses back and now crosses road again behind the pack or is running 3rd in the pack that would be Slow an 1-3. Time method could be rabbit crosses road and pack is a medium pack if they can get across in 3-5 minutes.
Guys, I'm just joking around because what one guy calls medium is slow to next guy. If I say one is a 5 speed that is solo because that should be his natural speed. Most guys like to call their stuff medium instead of fast.
I think that the biggest problem people have the quicker hounds is that they think that fast hounds (8-10 speed) can not run a rabbit as well as a slower pack does. I totally disagree with that if they have the right thing between their ears and the right thing on the end of their muzzle speed has nothing do with it! I've seen hounds lock on at a higher rate of speed than I run and run almost check free with minimal breakdowns. Now I understand it's harder to stop a dragster going 200 mph than it is to stop a baby buggy going down the sidewalk but they can shut down, shut up and get back to the turns just about as fast as slower hounds if they have brains/noses and know how to use them, they know how to run much faster just like slower hounds can run at slower speeds.
My buddy, Lane Rugg and I went over to a Traditional Brace Club trial a couple weekends ago that is about 10 miles from my house to watch a licensed trial. Believe it or not their hounds do the same things as our hounds do but at a speed than is not any faster than grass growing. Several braces never moved a line more than 30 feet and they went the end, barked out of place, moved around on their checks, reached out, and some lost their rabbit.
So I believe speed that you like should dictate your pack not what others tell you is best. Match them up correctly and the good races will happen.
Well it's 3:30am , the wife's snoring and I can't sleep so its story time!!!
Several years ago, 2 of my late friends and I were down on the Ouachita River one Saturday morning running beagles. Mr Riley Laffoon had graduated from LSU with a degree in accounting and he was head of shipping with a railroad up until his retirement. Mr Kent Thompson didn't finish high school but had a degree in hard knocks and worked for the paper mill down in West Monroe,La till he had retired. They were in their late 60's at the time and ran almost everyday.
Well anyway, Riley was running first with 4-13" Blackcreek females off Hale's Nubbin and Man were they running. They had been on this rabbit for close to 2 hours and it was something to hear. We were sitting at a crossroad on our 4 wheelers and I had been playing with my stop watch and the subject of speed came up. Kent asked Riley what speed do you think that pack is and Riley said that's easy "they are true Mediums". After a couple minutes, Kent in a very Professor like statement says that is a very often misused term these days. Riley looked at Kent with a puzzled look and I just knew something was about to happen.
Well it did as a soaking wet cottontail came up unto the ditchbank and stopped. He sat there looking at us and looking back in the direction of the pack. Finally he hopped across the road and Kent says James set that stop watch and see how long it takes them to get here, Riley says that ain't the one they are running to which Kent replies oh yea they will be here in about 10 minutes!! I set the watch and listened to them jawing back and forth at each other as the race worked its way towards us, away from us and behind us. Riley says Kent see what I told you that's not him but He shouldn't said it because at like 91/2 minutes later outcomes the pack on that rabbit!! Kent is laughing and Riley is steaming as he is grabbing up the pack.
Well smarty pants put your pack on him and see if you can do better to which Kent says heck no I know how long he's been gone Too cold for my medium speed stuff! Miss the fire of these 2 guys as there was never a dull moment with they were with you. I've got several more Riley and Kent stories that are hilarious.
Ok guys , this is like Paul Harvey, now for the rest of the story!!!!
Kent won't fall for Riley's trap so he went down the road a little ways to put his pack down. Now for you northern guys ya'll are gonna love what happens next because Kent's pack was made up of 1 hound off a Indian Hills Major bred hound and 3 litter mates that were off Miles Handy's FC Jake Boy Link which was Ausable River Snapps and an Adirondack Bobby female. For the southern guys ya'll would call them Hare hounds.
Kent's pack jumped almost as soon as he cut them loose and it sounded just like Riley's pack for about another 2 hours. I'm thinking this is unbelievable as they smoked this rabbit. Wasn't alot of talk going on between them but 1 was smiling like a boy in a candy store and 1 was swollen up like a toad frog. Well all of sudden a big swamp rabbit flies across the road touching it about 2 times and Riley yells HOT DOG set that doggone alarm clock now! Kent says that's fine but that ain't him.....Well I think this isn't gonna be good but I set it anyway. Low and behold Kent's pack kept coming and coming and coming for seemed like forever. Kent is no longer smiling and says please don't let that be him. But it was..... They were about 5 1/2 minutes behind running like they were looking at him.
Riley is laughing so hard he nearly fell off his 4 wheeler. Kent says let me see that clock and studies for a minute then shows it to Riley. Kent says if I figured this right it took you nearly 10 minutes to get to the road and mine got here in 5 so most people call their medium pack a 5 speed and that is actually what mine are. I refused to run and we went home and laughed for days about this trip.